Letter from LeGrand to Erline, May 8, 1942
8 May 1942
By the time you get this letter it will be two weeks—that is if I can get things lined up well enough to make a letter.
One evening last week I got a fine letter from you telling me that you had written 2 letters that day. Then I began to wondering "Maybe she wrote one & it is still in her pocket book" or "get all fixed for to be told off in a letter that is to come" and many other things entered my mind in the spare minutes. Maybe even that letter that the Elders never like to see because there is 10¢ due and a message that all is through, but that couldn't be because she says different in the letter I just received.
The next morning bright and early a knock came at the door and the postman with a special delivery Air Mail letter was on the step. A few short minutes made everything clear & simple.
Yes, there were two chances that I had to go on the caterpillar. Did I do it? Well, up to now I have dis-considered the job entirely. Why? Because I have already one of the best jobs that is possible for a man to possess—An Elder, set apart by a prophet of God, to labor in the North Central States Mission as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Old Satan was right in there playing ball, but he didn't deal very decisively as yet.
Thanks for the fine letter I received last night with $5.00 in telling me that it had been 10 days since you heard from me. I am the one to feel ashamed, for you haven't heard from me for so long, and I am! And set out to repent & keep a letter coming more regular.
Here are a few pictures that I come in possession of in a round about way. Elder Millett took them on a roll of small film that he had so we went together (3 of us) and got them for about 1/3 of what it would have cost with any other Kodak, and they are fair pictures at that.
These three girls attended our Roundup Primary pretty regular and are the girls we baptized a short time ago. The tall one & short one was baptized by me & the other was dunked by Elder Millett.
Brother Mock was baptized by Elder Millett at the same time. He isn't smoking, but chewing a splinter of wood that he was chipping. His son Teddie is the liveliest kid in 7 states. Mr. Art Saastamoinen was sure a lucky "Swede" to get the little red headed English "Mormon" girl—and can she cook. She has a reputation of being the best cook in Montana. Just among the missionaries of course, but it has never been known of at any time that an Elder went away from there place hungry.
About Xmas Robert was at the bottom of his class and his dad found it out and instructing him that he wanted him to get to the top of the class. Robert said that he didn't know why he should be at the top of the class because "they taught the same thing at both ends."
The Dye family was the first family that Elder Millett & I met in Roundup that hadn't been contacted by Elders before. Mr. Dye is an ex-Mayor of the city and a very fine fellow. Elder Millett & I were certainly surprised when Mrs. Dye told us that her daughter Ruth was only 16 years old and a sophomore in high school. Before that we had seen & heard her play the piano and sing so maybe that is the reason.
Last Friday and Saturday the school had their music festival & track meet. We set out to the track about 9:00 A.M. But everyone seemed to be dressing for that event at the school, so we went up to the football field and got in on the fun and happenings of the day.
Soon after we arrived at the field a kid come running across the way and told us the coach wanted to see us. We were asked to help judge the races, which we accepted with gratitude, and was given a red ribbon which permitted us to the activities of the day. In our position we were right out where everyone of the county could see us and learn who we were. All the kids became even more friendly after the big day at the track meet.
This Sunday we had a call to go to Big Timber and talk to a group of Saints there on their Mother's Day program. It has been so long since I have had a call to talk to an audience that I have nearly forgot how to do the job, but probably it will all be for the best.
Since I have been out I have been getting by on the money that you have been sending and I have had no immediate need for any more than I had on hand. Nevertheless it is a commandment that a missionary has not to deprive anyone a blessing. If you feel you can send that $15.00 you mentioned without running low yourself, O.K., but I wouldn't like to see you going without the necessities. That would be too great a sacrifice for you.
It's been so long since I wrote the last letter that I forgot just what I wrote, but evidently when you read it you got the idea, no doubt, that I was running low on funds. Maybe when I told you that the thought entered my mind of running the cat for a month or so, then going on with the mission.
As it is lined up as you probably know already you have been sending $10.00 per month. My brother Dick has been sending $10.00 nearly every month and the balance has been taken out of the bank by my father and sent to me.
We keep a record of all we spend so at any time we can see how much our mission is costing us. For the first 15 months the average expense was $29.70. That includes shoes, sox, hat, rent, food, dentist, overcoat, Xmas presents, movies, books, pictures, stamps—well, in a few words everything that I spent was counted in, added up & divided by 15.
A while ago within the last two or three weeks Dad sold another one of my cows and added that to the bank roll that was left, so Dad could draw on it as I needed money.
I might take this opportunity to explain that I am happy in the work that I am engaged and love it plenty well or I wouldn't be out here.
May this letter carry my love or be a token of my love for you and may the Lord see fit to continue His blessings of health & strength with both of us.
Sincerely & Lovingly yours,
Elder LeGrand W.